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What we can learn from French women about sex and love

SheKnows.com love/sex columnist Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and lives in New York's East Village. She believes all is fair in love and sample sale shopping.

Ooh la la!

If Paris is the love capital of the world, then French women are the denizens who keep it running with their special brand of sex appeal. In tribute to Bastille Day this week, below are three steal-worthy love secrets of French femmes.

French Woman

They take a laissez-faire view on sex

The French reputation of being sexually open-minded is no more evident in the abundance of erotic shops and topless cabarets in Paris than it is in the sexual habits of its women. A recent study by the French Aids research agency showed that women in France had nearly twice as many partners as they did in the 1970s.

But although they may have coined the expression "ménage à trois," the French are still romantics at heart. Several years after famously declaring that she found monogamy to be "terribly boring," Carla Bruni married President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this year after a whirlwind three-month courtship that was the stuff of fairy tales (and French tabloids.)

They become even sexier as they age

"If I have to get old, I want to do it in Paris," notes writer Pamela Druckerman in a column in the New York Times. Her reasoning? Unlike their American counterparts, French women don't suffer from a shortage of nookie as they age.

On the contrary, a study by France's Regional Health Observatory showed that 90% of French women over 50 are embracing their inner femme fatales and dating actively.

"Older women in Paris don't actually look any better than the ones in New York," writes Druckerman. "The difference is that the French typically don't see sex as a privilege for the young and beautiful. They see it as one of life's most basic pleasures - something women or men would not give up without a fight."

They love their knickers

French women know that fabulous lingerie can not only transform your body, but it can give your self-esteem a shot of confidence as well, making you instantly feel more feminine and sexy. For them, it is an everyday must. According to a survey, women spend close to twenty percent of their annual clothing budgets on lingerie alone in France.

"Lingerie makes a woman feel good about herself, which can translate to increased sexual satisfaction," notes New Jersey sex therapist Susana Alexander.

So ladies, take note: don't just save your lacy unmentionables for a special occasion or rendez-vous. Whether it's a lacy bra or barely-there thong, wear something every day that makes you feel seductive, just like the French women do.

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